The Edmond Sun

State News

December 28, 2012

Attorney general warns Oklahomans about charity scams

OKLA. CITY — Attorney General Scott Pruitt recently urged Oklahomans to be cautious when contributing to charities following the school shooting in Connecticut.

“We see this happen time and again where criminals prey on the generosity of others who want to help following a tragedy or disaster,” Pruitt said. “By taking a few precautions you can help ensure donations get in the right hands.”

Pruitt issued the warning after officials in Connecticut received complaints about criminals setting up fake charities in the names of some of the deceased children.

For Oklahomans wishing to make contributions to help those affected in Connecticut, the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office and the Connecticut Governor’s Office are encouraging donors to visit their website at www.ct.gov and click on “How to Help Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Victims.”

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit offers the following tips when donating to charities:

• Charities can pop-up overnight. Donate to legitimate organizations with proven track records;

• Before making a donation, find out if the charity is registered in Oklahoma by contacting the Secretary of State at 521-4211 or visit www.sos.ok.gov;

• Watch out for impersonators with similar sounding names of well-known organizations;

• Don’t fall for high pressure tactics or stories that are long on emotion, but short on facts;

• Never give your personal or financial information over the telephone or via email to solicitors asking for contributions;

• Avoid giving cash. Make donations by card or checks payable only to the charity;

• Never be afraid to ask for additional information in writing.

For additional information about donating wisely, go online to www.oag.ok.gov or www.charitywatch.org.

To report suspected fraud or scams, contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at 521-2029 and local law enforcement.

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